We are very excited to have one of our past SBS students, Geeta Bhagola, sharing on our blog. At seven years old, Geeta lost her full sight and was sent to live in the Netherlands, far from her childhood home in Suriname, South America. During this time, she became a Christian and since has served God faithfully in many dynamic ways.
I never thought I would ever say this, but I do believe there is beauty in embracing one’s limitation. Let me explain how.
Recently my guide dog retired. Since it’s unsure when my next dog will be available, I am currently without one. I’ve walked with a guide dog for the past 28 years and never went without one in between dogs. I received a dog when I was 17, because I walked faster than my cane could keep up, and I often got bruised. Once I received my first dog the world opened for me. I experienced a freedom I hadn’t felt before. I could walk as fast as I wanted, and get to my destination in half the time. I didn’t get bruised, and had conversations with people along the way. People approached me differently. Where a cane seemed to breathe helplessness, a dog reinforced the image of independence. Once I was hooked on a guide dog, I didn’t want to be without one ever. Fortunately, I always had the next guide dog waiting when the one at work would retire. That is, until now.
When I faced this season, I felt like God was asking me to step out, and trust Him. I thought He asked me for the impossible, because I felt like I had to step out into nothing, and trust Him. Beside that I also felt He expected me to have a good attitude about it. It was very confronting.
I had the choice to stay at home, and only get out of the house when someone would pick me up, or by cab. But, as I’ve often said to people: “God did not create me to sit behind the curtains.” So I entered this new season of my life, where it is just God and me.
The first day I traveled without my four legged friend, I cried. I missed my train, which wouldn’t have happened with him there. To walk the stretch from the bus stop to my location took me four times as long. I cried and said to God: “I don’t like this. This is hard. I feel like I’ve handed in my freedom. Still you want me to have a good attitude about it?”
One of my friends told me later: “We prayed specifically for you to be safe, that God would send His angels.”
I was safe. Even though that first day had been confronting and painful, I had been safe. I walked on a sidewalk that was broken, but I never twisted my ankle, or got hurt in any way.
When I entered this season, God told me: “Daughter, I’ve got you covered.”
The choice, do I trust Him to take care of me, protect me, be my eyes, on a greater level than ever before, was hard. Still, I can see the beauty of it. To face my limitations of being blind, yet surrender to God. To trust Him to meet me beyond my limitation, is only possible when I embrace it.
God asked me for total surrender of my safety and trust. There is a different level of trust. Imagine you wear glasses and your glasses are removed. You trusted God with the glasses to keep you safe, but you also trusted your glasses to function. I trusted God when I had my guide dog, but I also trusted my dog to do his job. Now I don’t have my glasses, but still need to navigate the roads.
Do I like to be blind? No.
Do I like to be confronted with the limitations of being blind? No. Does God enjoy me being blind? No.
But, if I allow God to be Lord over my limitation, my limitation won’t be god over my life. If I allow God to be Lord of my life including my limitations, that limitation becomes a footstool for God’s glory. Our focus immediately shifts from despair and hardship, to thankfulness and giving God the glory He deserves.
I’m not saying we all should bar animals and equipment from our lives that help us deal with physical and emotional limitations. But, being forced in this situation makes me get to know God’s Heart on a way deeper level than I have before.
I mentioned a good attitude in the midst of it all. I believe in honesty. So yes, when I feel squeezed when confronted with the boundaries of my limitation, I do grumble. But, do I stay there, or do I pour out my frustration to the Lord, and move on with a real smile from deep inside out?
God is good. He does not desire us to be fake, but He wants us to be real, honest and to allow Him to be part of our lives, our circumstances. Only when we do allow Him to be part of us, can we become who we are in Him.
Even though the past months have been trying from time to time, I also can say God made me laugh and smile more often than I expected.
Geeta holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and has completed many other courses and training programs pertaining to biblical studies, counseling, prayer ministry, and the craft of writing. She is a true example of embracing and stewarding one’s gifts to serve the kingdom of God. Currently, Geeta is back in the Netherlands, working on publishing her first book, and preparing for more travel and ministry. This post was originally published in January on her own blog, which you can visit at Bhagola.com .